Lathia and colleagues have identified ties between physical activity and happiness. As they report, “Although exercise has also been linked to psychological health (e.g., happiness), little research has examined physical activity more broadly, taking into account non-exercise activity as well as exercise. We examined the relationship between physical activity (measured broadly) and happiness using a smartphone application. . . . . The findings reveal that individuals who are more physically active are happier. Further, individuals are happier in the moments when they are more physically active. These results emerged when assessing activity subjectively, via self-report, or objectively, via participants' smartphone accelerometers. Overall, this research suggests that not only exercise but also non-exercise physical activity is related to happiness.” Data were collected from “over ten thousand participants.” Information on physical activity was gathered using accelerometers on participants’ phones.
Neal Lathia, Gillian Sandstrom, Cecilia Mascolo, and Peter Rentfrow. 2017. “Happier People Live More Active Lives: Using Smartphones to Link Happiness and Physical Activity.” PLoS ONE, vol. 12, no. 1, e0160589.